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Shady Neighbors Paperback – March 9, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thom Powell is an author, science teacher, expert kayaker, and whitewater river guide. His previous literary work, the widely acclaimed 'The Locals,' revolutionized bigfoot/sasquatch field research when it was published in 2003. Many of the radical ideas that were first presented in this seminal volume have gained wide acceptance among today's bigfoot researchers. His new book is another first: a novel that incorporates some of Thom's unique revelations about the bigfoot phenomenon in an original and entertaining story. Thom has also been a lifelong fan of major league and youth baseball, mis-spending much of his own youth at Cleveland Stadium, watching the Cleveland Indians lose game after game. His love of the game (and the life lessons it offers) figures prominently in the plot of 'Shady Neighbors.' Back in the mid-1980's Thom was also the first kayaker in the western U.S. to pioneer the use of a new style of stunt kayak know as a 'squirt boat' that is capable of underwater maneuvers. Virtually all whitewater kayaks now incorporate design elements borrowed from these tiny kayaks that were once so radically different. Thom is known for coining the phrase 'mystery move' to describe the squirt boater's most impressive underwater maneuver. Mr. Powell is a dynamic, veteran science teacher of 26 years experience at Robert Gray Middle School in the Hillsdale neighborhood of southwest Portland. He lives with his family beside the Clackamas River near Oregon City.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Lrg edition (March 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456366637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456366636
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,433,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Thom Powell's new fiction book "Shady Neighbors" is an enjoyable tale of a family that lives in rural Oregon and their experiences with a mysterious and unseen set of neighbors in the surrounding woods. The book starts out with the story of middle school science teacher Sam Ward and his son Jack and their involvment with a community little league baseball team. Though the father/son relationship and their love of sports is a central theme, what evolves is the immersion of those two characters into a phenomena long shrouded in the mists of the vast wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, Sasquatch!

As the story unfolds we see that Sam's son, Jack, has a love for, and knack for finding and studying, snakes. Jack spies a very unusual snake in a high mountain lake and is enthralled by the fact that he simply cannot identify it. Paralleling this story line is the sasquatch mystery that reveals itself in some subtle and not so subtle ways to Jack. While Sam is a science teacher and something of a skeptic, he also soon realizes that Jack's experiences may be far more than a series of strange coincidences and may, in fact, point to the very real potential that there is an unknown and unclassified type of hominid in the mountains surrounding their home. In many respects, I feel that Jack, as a child and perhaps having a but more of an open mind, seems to accept his experiences at face value Sam needs some more convincing and finds it through a series of interactions with one of his students and a local investigator of the bigfoot/sasquatch mystery, Nick Rollo.

Sam soon comes to the realization that there is, indeed, quite a large amount of rather convincing evidence that the "sasquatch myth" may be a reality.
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Thom has crafted a very enjoyable story that also serves as a teaching tool regarding the search for the hidden forest giants known as Sasquatch/Bigfoot. For readers who are novices to the subject, he interweaves the basic fundamentals of the culmination of current Bigfoot Research and evidence into the engaging dialogue of his characters and story line.

Treading briefly into what some might consider controversial and speculative territory as well, Thom continues exploring those areas that his pioneering efforts first touched in his excellent non-fiction book: "The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon". The book doesn't dwell on these possibilities but raises awareness of them and suggests to the reader that there may be more than merely meets the eye to these incredibly covert beings.

Thom also explores the vast Native American history and long time recognition of the Sasquatch as a real being; a fact that isn't as well known to the mainstream public, yet greatly supports the concept of Sasquatch as fact... not fiction.

The book even delves into some of the possible ramifications of discovery and proof of Bigfoot and what that might mean for them and even US in terms of ecological issues, land conservation, community financial side effects, and interpersonal relationships and politics, both with family, friends and co-workers.

Thom has penned a tale that I think benefits both the Bigfoot novice and seasoned field researcher. It's an excellent teaching tool for those first exploring the subject, and it may open the eyes of some veterans to the field and make them consider some possibilities they never did, or were willing to, prior to now.

There is more that is touched upon throughout the story but I leave that to you to discover.
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Back in 2003, I read and reviewed the book The Locals, by author Thom Powell. That book is still a beloved part of my home library. So it was with great interest that I heard about his new book, Shady Neighbors.

The book surprised me a bit, Thom having chosen to write it as a fictional piece, even tho dealing with very real and very well documented examples of bigfoot behavior.

It turned out great. I was very pleased at how he brought out the habituation side of bigfooting and dealt with the human doubt and skepticism, all a common part of human reaction to the presence of these gentle giants in their lives.

Thom Powell knows of what he writes, and it does come thru. This book will remain a beloved part of my home library. I heartily recommend it.

Larry hagedon
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This is a terrific novel, covering several different aspects, including Bigfoot, baseball, land development and a new species of snake. We meet Sam Ward, a middle school science teacher who might well be patterned after Powell himself, who has some unusual occurrences happen to him around his home, which has a fully functional baseball diamond on the property. We meet his family, including his son Jack, who is sort of an amateur herpetologist (one who studies snakes) who makes an interesting discovery at a place called Squaw Meadow, which is up for land development into a resort by Barton Foster III, a former neighbor of Sam and his family. In the meantime, Sam has a local Bigfoot researcher, Nick Rollo, come to help him out with the scientific method in his class. Baseball is one thing that brings Sam and Jack closer together as father and son, and they enjoy playing, even if their team does not always win. As the story progresses, it becomes clear just who the "shady neighbors" really are, and it's not who one expects. This is a terrifically crafted story, and one worthy of a read whether on a warm Summer's evening or in front of a roaring fire in Fall or Winter. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
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